In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
A Kaiser Health News analysis finds that the portion of federal marketplace plans requiring people to pay a third or more of the cost of specialty drugs have jumped from 37 to 63 percent since 2014. (Jordan Rau and Julie Appleby and Elizabeth Lucas, 11/30)
Sponsors of Congressional action up for vote Wednesday have championed mental health changes since the 2012 Newtown shootings. (Liz Szabo, 11/30)
Privatizing the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled and turning the Medicaid program for the poor back to the states are long-time goals for Republicans in Congress and the White House. (Julie Rovner, 11/29)
Seema Verma is a consultant who was Vice President-elect Mike Pence's health policy advisor when he was governor of Indiana, playing a key role in Medicaid expansion in that state. (Jake Harper, Side Effects Public Media, 11/29)
Responding to a national epidemic, many state Medicaid programs are making the coverage rules for these opioid-based medicines tougher so that physicians will think twice before prescribing them. But some worry that legitimate pain patients could suffer. (Shefali Luthra, 11/30)
A program to boost physical activity at parks around California can help people lose weight and prevent – or control – chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. (Anna Gorman, 11/30)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Only Child'" by Mike s.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
WHAT THE CURES ACT BRINGS WITH IT
Mental health reforms
are included in the bill.
Now Congress will vote.
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
The surgeon who is Donald Trump's nomination for Health and Human Services secretary has a staunchly conservative plan that would largely remove the government from the health care industry.
The Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump Signals Big Health Policy Changes Are Coming
In tapping Rep. Tom Price and Medicaid consultant Seema Verma Tuesday for top health positions, President-elect Donald Trump has signaled that he intends to put conservative health-policy goals at the forefront of his administration. (Radnofsky, 11/29)
The New York Times: Tom Price, H.H.S. Nominee, Drafted Remake Of Health Law
In choosing Representative Tom Price of Georgia to be his health secretary, President-elect Donald J. Trump has signaled an undiminished determination to repeal President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with a health law that would be far less comprehensive. And Mr. Trump is handing Republicans and their base voters what they have clamored for since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010 — a powerful force to reverse course. (Pear, 11/29)
Politico: Tom Price's Radically Conservative Vision For American Health Care
Price, a former orthopedic surgeon and six-term House member from suburban Atlanta, has proposed policies that are more conservative than those of many House Republican colleagues. His vision for health reform hinges on eliminating much of the federal government's role in favor of a free-market framework built on privatization, state flexibility and changes to the tax code. The vast majority of the 20 million people now covered under Obamacare would have far less robust coverage — if they got anything at all. “Young, healthy and wealthy people may do quite well under this vision of health care reform,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “But the people who are older and poorer and sicker could do a lot worse.” (Cancryn, Haberkorn and Pradhan, 11/29)
NPR: Tom Price, Trump's Pick For HHS, Has An Obamacare Alternative In Mind
Price's major complaint about the ACA is that it puts the government in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship. "They believe the government ought to be in control of health care," Price said in June at the American Enterprise Institute event where Ryan unveiled the Republican proposal to replace Obamacare. "We believe that patients and doctors should be in control of health care," Price continued. "People have coverage, but they don't have care." (Kodjak, 11/29)
Marketplace: A Likely Trump Administration Proposal: Health Insurance Subsidies For Everyone
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Republican Rep. Tom Price of Georgia to become the next secretary of Health and Human Services. Price, a surgeon by training, has been one of the loudest and most ambitious critics of the Affordable Care Act, even introducing a nearly 250-page replacement plan. One core principle in Price's proposal: the idea that everyone in the country will get a subsidy to buy insurance. (Gorenstein, 11/29)
USA Today: Trump Health Nomination Prompts Relief And Fear
The future of the Affordable Care Act looks both bleaker and cloudier with President-elect Donald Trump's nomination for his administration's top health jobs. House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., a surgeon and outspoken critic of the law, was named to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Price introduced a replacement plan last year that includes some elements that are similar to the ACA, but removes the mandate that everyone have insurance. (O'Donnell, 11/29)
Georgia Health News: Trump Picks Congressman Price Of Georgia To Run HHS
President-elect Donald Trump has selected U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia as his nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Price, 62, an orthopedic surgeon, has been a fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act, and has also discussed major changes to the Medicare program. (Miller, 11/29)
The Associated Press: Health Nominee Price May Find That Changing HHS Isn't Easy
As an orthopedic surgeon, Tom Price is used to calling the shots in the operating room. If confirmed to run the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the doctor-turned-congressman from Georgia may find it a lot harder to exercise authority. ... Almost everything the vast department does is circumscribed by law and regulations, and churned out through layers of bureaucracy not always in full communication with each other. (11/29)
Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., Donald Trump's choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, is eager to overhaul the program that the incoming president swore to defend.
Los Angeles Times: Trump Pledged To Protect Medicare. His Choice For Health Secretary Has Other Ideas
In tapping Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be his Health and Human Services secretary, [Trump] has elevated one of the most aggressive proponents of dramatically overhauling the government safety net for seniors and low-income Americans, a long-held conservative goal. Trump also took a step toward a potentially explosive political battle over the entitlements, which account for close to half of all federal spending.Such a battle — and the threat of benefit cuts to more than 100 million Americans — risks alienating some of the very working-class voters who fueled Trump’s unexpected victory. (Levey and Bierman, 11/29)